Some table saws go one better than a splitter. Splitters are fixed. They do not move along with the blade. It also needs to be removed if you’re making cross-cuts or dado cuts. A riving knife, on the other hand, is fixed to the same part as the blade. This means it can move along with the blade. Riving knives don’t get in the way either so this is the best option.
Some table saws come with a miter gauge, though the quality tends to be uneven. Some are great, and will serve you well for a long time, while others are flimsy or struggle to hold the correct angle or both. This is something that can most easily be determined by reading online reviews, though it’s always great to get your hands on a demonstration model, if possible.
Cutting a board to length by using the fence as a guide is one of the most dangerous yet very common techniques. The fact that it’s quite common among DIY-ers doesn’t make it safe. In fact, it’s extremely dangerous and can lead to fatal consequences. There is a high risk of kickback if you’re using this particular technique. Needless to say, the forces involved are immense, and you’ll end up with a piece of wood in your face. One could say – “But, I’m wearing safety goggles!” Even though it may be true, goggles won’t do much against a dense piece of wood flying straight to your face a few hundred miles per hour.
Additionally, the bevel dial is accurate to within ¼ of a degree, making ultra-precise angle cuts easily repeatable. The base of the 36-L552 is also constructed of solid cast-iron, adding balance and stability even when cutting through the toughest hardwood. An aggressive blade guard and splitter design also helps prevent both accidental contact with the blade and pinching or kickback from the kerf even on extended cuts.
For benchtop and jobsite saws with direct drive motors, the motor RPM is the blade RPM. If you’re considering a contractor or cabinet saw, it’s a different story. In any event, Pro table saw RPMs generally range from 4000 – 5000. Don’t let numbers on the lower side dissuade you. There’s a limit to how much power you can draw and each manufacturer has to decide how they’ll channel it between blade speed and torque. So higher isn’t necessarily better.
The accuracy and safety of any given saw is dependent upon the blade being parallel to the rip fence. Since we tested the amount of difference in parallelism between the saw blade and the miter slot in the previous test, we need only to see if the miter slot is parallel to the rip fence to see if the saw has a parallel relationship between the blade and the rip fence.
I recently brought the Ryobi RTS21G after my dwe745 got stolen and actually couldn’t believe the quality! You guys were definitely right about using the Diablo blade, makes a big difference as it’s not the most powerful table saw in the world, but really didn’t expect much for $200 but i was very surprised. Anyway just wanted to say thanks for the great review and recommendation!
Another important safety feature to consider is a magnetic switch. Magnetic switches are there in case of power cuts or outages and will also protect the table saw motor from over load. Effectively it will switch off the power supply the instant the power goes off ensuring you don’t have a saw blade spinning away in the dark! As you can imagine this is a very useful and must have safety feature when looking to purchase a new table saw.
With a riving knife that has a quick release design that makes it easier to change, it’s no wonder that this Powermatic 1792017K Model PM2000 10-Inch 5 HP 1-Phase Table Saw with 50-Inch Accu-Fence and Workbench is so popular with shoppers. That knife also has built-in kickback prevention that will keep your hands safe and help you focus on your work. Though it’s just as sturdy as other cabinet saws, this one comes with a caster system that allows you to move the saw across your shop.
Both of the products that we’ve featured so far in our top table saw reviews have clearly been targeted at the higher end of the market and that’s signified by their high price point. With that in mind, we think it’s worth including a cheaper table saw that’s clearly targeted at not so much professional contractors and more just hobbyists. That’s where this product from Ryobi comes in. Whilst it doesn’t offer much of the same power and flexibility as the options from Bosch and Dewalt, it might just do the job.
Some table saws come with a miter gauge, though the quality tends to be uneven. Some are great, and will serve you well for a long time, while others are flimsy or struggle to hold the correct angle or both. This is something that can most easily be determined by reading online reviews, though it’s always great to get your hands on a demonstration model, if possible.

However, some models with cheaper table surfaces still manage to get it consistently right. It’s always important to look for problems with table flatness when reading reviews of table saws you’re considering. If you see flatness as an issue repeatedly, you can save yourself a huge potential headache by just considering a different model. If you don’t see any complaints about table flatness, even on a cheaper model of table saw, then it’s probably going to work out just fine.
You will need specialty blades for cutting materials such as plywood, masonry, hardwood and metals. Other specialty blades are used for dado cuts. Most dado sets have multiple rows of teeth and chippers and they are typically much wider than traditional blades. Be sure that the model of table saw you have can accommodate the type of specialty blades you want to get so you don’t waste your money on a blade that won’t fit.
With a quick release riving knife, this Jet 708676PK XACTASAW Deluxe 5HP with 30 In. Rip Fence reduces the risk of binding and also cuts back on the kickbacks that you might otherwise feel. Its five-horsepower motor is one of the most powerful on the market and can make quick cuts in any type of wood. It also comes with a 30-inch rip fence making rip cuts, though you may find that this fence is a little too short your needs.

Belt drive table saw motors run on a pulley system, most of the time some power is lost through this system, but belt drive blades can cut through thicker timber and hardwoods. They can produce power of around 3 to 5HP and thanks to the motor being mounted further away from the blade with belt drive, the motor will last longer as less dust will get into the motor. One thing to consider though is that belt drive will be in general more expensive and are normally found on heavy cabinet type saws, so this must be considered when working out your budget.
The SKILSAW SPT70WT-01 is truly a woodworking marvel, packing a 15-amp Dual Field motor into a surprisingly lightweight yet durable 49-pound frame. Whether you’re an amateur carpenter or a contractor with years of experience under his toolbelt, SKILSAW’s workhorse of a table saw is an invaluable addition to your repertoire thanks to its raw torque and unparalleled 25" ripping capacity, meaning tearing through thick sheets of plywood has never been easier.
We rotated the blade to the rear of the saw to enable the dial indicator to contact the same location of the same tooth behind the carbide portion. We positioned the dial indicator to the rear of the saw placed onto the blade and the reading recorded. If the blade and the miter slot were closer together at the rear of the saw, the dial indicator has a negative reading. If the blade and the miter slot were father apart at the rear of the saw, the dial indicator showed a positive reading.

The latest advance in table saw safety is a feature that stops the spinning blade when it senses the presence of tissue, such as a finger or forearm. A company called SawStop was the first to offer this technology, and currently, it holds the exclusive right to sell saws with this feature in the United States. (Bosch introduced a portable table saw with blade-stopping technology in 2016, but was forced to take it off the market after a successful patent-infringement suit by SawStop.) In 2017, the CPSC proposed a new rule to make SawStop's technology mandatory on all table saws, but that rule is still under review. See the Buying Guide for more information.
The continuous-read, tape measure–type scale is ingenious and easy to read, and Ridgid’s lifetime warranty covers it against breakage. The Ridgid saw has the most versatile miter gauge with holes and slots for mounting extensions and accessories. The designers have cleverly fashioned the stand to also serve as a left-side outfeed support for ripping plywood.

Above are the results for RPM Blade Speed while cutting 3/4″ plywood. In the left column is the no-load blade speed and the right column is the lowest recorded blade speed during the cut. The drop in blade speed is fairly small ranging from 6% for Hitachi and Ridgid, 7% for Makita and SawStop, 9% Bosch, 11% DEWALT, 14% SkilSaw, and 24% for the Delta.
One shouldn’t expect a massive amount of storage, but being a table, it does offer some level of free space. In fact, some models even offer space for fences, gauges, blades, and other necessary equipment. Apart from that, you can always keep the necessary tools in the reach of your hands. It will make the process much easier and also a lot quicker.
One term you may hear when reading about table saw accuracy is blade runout. Runout is a term that describes whether or how much the outside edge of a saw blade wobbles while being held by the motor shaft. Sometimes, operators measure runout by using a saw blade. In that case, the very use of a saw blade presumes that the specific blade is perfect or nearly perfect in its flatness. Using a saw blade that has any warping will not give a clear indication of blade runout.
These table saws are all probably made in China where there’s apparently no meaningful out-going quality control. While the *average* quality from a given manufacturer might be great, you could also be unlucky get a piece of junk because *everything* made on the production line ships out. It’s a preferred business model these days – the prices are much cheaper but the manufacturers trade that off against dealing with significantly increased returns and the need for much more customer service.

Choosing a circular saw is a daunting task because the market is overflowing with powerful tools designed to help you cut different hard materials. As it was mentioned above, there are plenty of factors you need to consider when making a purchase and the size of the unit is one of them. As compared to small tables, a large unit provides you with more space where to cut a large sheet of plywood. However, if you don’t have enough space to place the table, you can add an extension table to a smaller unit. It can be mounted to the side of the unit and removed after use.
While we rotated the plate, we recorded the maximum reading on the dial indicator. We validated each maximum reading by running the test for a second time and noting that the readings were consistent. TBB also noted that as we performed these tests on all eight saws, the maximum readings occurred at different parts of the plate along its rotation. Because the max readings were in different and discrete parts of the calibration plate, TBB had a very high level of confidence in the flatness of the calibration plate, itself.
Different types of table saw rely on different motors. With the smaller and more portable saws, 120V direct drive motors can deliver up to 2HP. This is more than enough power if you’re working with less substantial sheets of material. The larger saws have belt drive motors running on 240V. These produce 3-5HP. Think carefully about the materials you’ll be working with. Get the right sized motor for your cutting needs.
Bosch has a long legacy of manufacturing great tools for generations, and the Bosch 4100-09 upholds that tradition. Slightly heavier than the Dewalt DWE, it comes with an innovative stand that makes it stand out. The gravity-rise stand cuts down the time to set this table saw by quite a lot, reducing set up time. It also comes equipped with pneumatic wheels that can roll on almost any surface without much hassle. Another selling point is the advanced T-slot miter gauge that makes sure that you get the right cut every time without fail.

Next, you’ll want to focus on protecting your eyes. You’ll need a sturdy pair of safety goggles to make sure you keep your eyes covered at all times. If you don’t take precaution with your eyes they could become injured or irritated by debris that is kicked back from the machine or sawdust that floats in the air. Having itchy, irritated, or otherwise injured eyes is a work hazard that is best to avoid – not having clear eyesight complicates things greatly and puts you at risk for other injuries.

One of the lightest and most compact table saws was also the most stable: Skilsaw. There’s no wheel base to the stand and the outward angled legs provide a wider platform than it may appear against its colleagues. In second place was DeWalt, also offering a wide platform, but without the amount of rigidity that Skilsaw has in their stand. Coming up in third was Bosch with its gravity rise stand followed closely by Ridgid. It’s important to note that none of the professional class table saws had any stability issues inherent to their extension locking—it was all in the stand.
Stands are one of those features where the ends really do justify the means. Some made us wish the manual writers would take a cue from Lego—just make the *@#$! things easy enough for a 7 year old to understand. That aside, SawStop set itself aside brilliantly, taking just 10 minutes to setup. All we had to do was install the wheels and two handles. Even the packaging is designed to make the process easier and the instructions were super-easy to understand. Makita was nearly as simple only requiring us to install the handle and bolt the saw to the stand.
All the articles on this website are short and punchy without much filler, but because there is so much to learn about table saws it will still take you the better part of an afternoon to read through them all. For those who don’t have that kind of time, or those who already know a great deal about table saws, this is the section that will take you to the best table saw for your needs.
×